Satan: A Biographyby Henry Ansgar Kelly
Pub. Date: 08/31/2006
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Christians traditionally think of Satan as Lucifer, God's enemy, who rebelled against Him out of pride and then caused Adam and Eve to sin. But, as Kelly shows, this portrayal is not biblical but a scenario invented by the early Fathers of the Church which became the 'New Biography of Satan'. The 'Original Biography' must be reconstructed from the New Testament
Christians traditionally think of Satan as Lucifer, God's enemy, who rebelled against Him out of pride and then caused Adam and Eve to sin. But, as Kelly shows, this portrayal is not biblical but a scenario invented by the early Fathers of the Church which became the 'New Biography of Satan'. The 'Original Biography' must be reconstructed from the New Testament where Satan is the same sort of celestial functionary we see in the Book of Job - appointed to govern the world, specifically to monitor and test human beings. But he is brutal and deceitful in his methods, and Jesus predicts that his rule will soon come to an end. Kelly traces the further developments of the 'New Biography': humankind's inherited guilt, captivity by Satan, and punishment in Hell at his hands. This profile of Satan remains dominant, but Kelly urges a return to the 'Original Biography of Satan'.
- Cambridge University Press
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Table of Contents
List of illustrations; List of abbreviations; Introduction; Part I. Hebrew Backgrounds: 1. The Old Testament; 2. Apocryphal works and the Dead Sea Scrolls; Part II. The New Testament: Satan Comes Into His Own: 3. St Paul, the first Christian writer; 4. The four Gospels; 5. Later Epistles; 6. The apocalypse of John the Divine; 7. Putting the New Testament together: a composite portrait of Satan in canonical order; Part III. Satan and Adam: 8. Satan's original sin: felling Adam; Part IV. The Rise of the Fallen Lucifer: 9. Lucifer and the new biography of Satan; 10. Satan and the human race; 11. Theorizing Satan; 12. Satan in literature and art; Part V. Satan in the Modern World: 13. Temptation and possession; 14. Doubts and affirmations; Summary and conclusion; Index of passages; General index.
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The author did a good job with the history of Satan and hopefully more books will follow from him and others about this subject matter to bring us back to the truth and away from the delusions and misconceptions that are out there.
Satan: A Biography by Henry Ansgar Kelly is a very fascinating reference that should interest any student of popular literature or the Christian faith. The one thing that is most striking about this book is its depth and comprehension; Kelly strives to get the true biblical interpretation of Satan by referencing nearly every time he is mentioned in the book, but thankfully he does not stop there. Kelly goes on to reference the whole of theology with regards to Satan, and even explores the spiritual theories of famous historical theologians such as 1200¿s scholar Thomas Aquinas. Lastly, Kelly imbues his work with a sense of relevance by examining the idea of Satan in modern society and analyzing how the myth¿s image has changed and been adopted by our society. With this book, Kelly sets out to prove that the image of Satan originally intended by the founders of the Christian religion has been somewhat distorted, and strives to give his readers a better perspective with the use of the painstaking research he has conducted. Overall, a very good read for people of any faith.